Upcoming “Steampunk” Movies for 2014

Box TrollsMore and more we are seeing Steampunk permeate mainstream culture and find its way into the epitome of mainstream that is Hollywood, but this year there aren’t many films left that could be described as Steampunk.

Coming out on September 26th is a stop motion animated feature based on the children’s novel Here Be Monsters by Alan Snow, but retitled The Box Trolls for the cinema. Directed by Graham Annable and Anthony Stacchi, and produced by the same team that made Coraline and Paranorman, the film employs the voice talents of Elle Fanning, Simon Pegg, Nick Frost, Toni Collette, and Isaac Hempstead Wright. The premise is that a young orphaned boy, raised by underground cave-dwelling trash collecting “Box Trolls,” tries to save his troll friends from an evil exterminator from the city above.

Steampunk ingredients abound with both the protagonists and the antagonist. The Box Trolls obtain “junk” discarded the towns people and upcycle it into something else, “They transform treasures into incredible inventions.” The film’s villain Archibald Snatcher (voiced by Ben Kingsley) utilizes a steam powered “mech” in his efforts to hunt the Box Trolls, and all the towns folk are clothed in Victorian attire . . . set it to bake, and voila! 2014’s latest “steampunk” movie.

 

Later, with a November 21st release, and not exactly Steampunk, perhaps more Dieselpunk, but nonetheless potentially a great film, comes The Imitation GameFans of Sherlock will surely enjoy Benedict Cumberbatch‘s portrayal of the historical English mathematician and logician, Alan Turing, who was instrumental in cracking the German Enigma code during World War II. Turing was also a pioneer in computing science and created what is now known as the “Turing Test” in which a computer reaches sentience when an artificial intelligence can trick those interacting with it into thinking it is another human. This inspired the “Turing Police” in William Gibson’s classic Cyberpunk novel Neuromancer, and some maintain that Apple’s logo is an homage to Turing. Haunted by a secret, Turing was a man with a tortured soul, and Cumberbatch seems like a perfect choice to convey the suppressed emotional intensity that this role demands.

Directed by Morten Tyldum and written by Graham Moore, The Imitation Game also stars Keira Knightley and Charles Dance.

The Imitation Game

Benedict Cumberbatch as Alan Turing


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